Coup soldier ordered earlier mobilization after intel chief meeting: Indictment
Mesut Hasan Benli - ANKARAAn indictment into the July 2016 coup attempt has revealed that İlhan Talu, one of the high-ranking alleged putschist soldiers, allegedly ordered mobilization earlier than planned after seeing National Intelligence Agency (MİT) chief Hakan Fidan speaking with the top brass.
Lt.-Gen. Talu was detained on July 16, 2016, one day after the failed coup.
According to the indictment, Talu also ordered the appointment of a general who was dismissed later for his relations with the Gülenist movement, which is believed to have orchestrated the failed coup attempt, hours before his own detention.
Talu appointed Lt.-Gen. İbrahim Yılmaz to the 2nd Corps Command when he realized the coup attempt had failed at 6:30 a.m. on July 16, the indictment stated.
Talu reportedly observed a meeting between Fidan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and Gen. Yaşar Güler and ordered the coup operations to begin earlier instead of the pre-arranged time of 3 a.m. on July 16, 2016. According to the indictment, Talu played a significant role in moving up the time of the coup attempt after reportedly learning that members of the Gülenist movement in the army would be detained immediately.
Talu reportedly guided coup soldiers who arrived to occupy the General Staff Headquarters building in Ankara at 9:23 p.m. on July 15, 2016.
Meanwhile, the indictment also includes claims against Maj.-Gen. Mehmet Dişli, who is accused of holding Akar at gunpoint and trying to force him to make a declaration. Dişli is the brother of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy leader Şaban Dişli.
Some 18 of 20 staff officers under the command of Dişli were involved in the coup attempt, the indictment stated.
Mustafa Azimetli, who allegedly bombed the parliament on the night of the coup attempt, and Ahmet Özçetin, who allegedly gave the order for the bombing, were reportedly under Dişli’s command.
The indictment also stated that Dişli and General Staff adviser Orhan Yıkılkan went to Akar’s office at 8:51 p.m. on July 15, two hours and 12 minutes before Dişli and other putschists removed Akar from his room.
The indictment also included the second testimony of Dişli, stating that he was threatened at gunpoint into taking joint action with the putschists.
“I went into the room of Lt.-Col. Levent Türkkan. Someone held a gun to the back of my neck and said the army had seized control of power. He said that if I acted with them I would survive. They wanted to inform Gen. Akar through me. So I read notes that I wrote when they were talking with me to Akar,” he said in his second testimony.
The structure of the Gülenist movement in the army was also related in the indictment. Some 400 personnel of the army were dismissed over allegations of ties to the movement between 1985 and 2016, the indictment said.
The indictment also stated that almost all of the soldiers who were promoted with decisions during Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meetings in 2013 were tied to the Gülenist movement.